France has said it will step up its fight against terrorism after the killing of 78-year-old hostage Michel Germaneau in Mali.
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said in a radio interview that “the fight against terrorism continues and it is going to strengthen.”
“France does not practice vengeance,” Fillon said.
“However we do have agreements with the governments in the region and in particular with the Mauritanian government and with the Malian government to hunt down these terrorists and bring them to justice.”
Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner is now in the region for talks regarding the security of French nationals in response to Germaneau’s murder
“We tried to contact the Al-Qaeda group holding him but we couldn’t get hold of them. Yet they decided to kill him. I’m not sure whether to believe it,” Kouchner said on arriving in Mauritania.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb said they killed the retired engineer in response to a French-backed raid by Mauritanian commandos last week.
The group is a northern Africa-based affiliate of Osama Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda network.
Germaneau was snatched in Niger in April where he had been working as a volunteer to help build a school.